Publish 21 April 2022
Lupus can be so debilitating that you want to retreat into the solitude of your home. With proper care, you need not be a prisoner.
How Lupus Makes Life Difficult
Have you ever awoken to peek out of the window and feel the warmth of the sun? As a lupus sufferer, this sunlight can be so debilitating that you refuse to emerge from your house. With proper care, you need not feel imprisoned—every day.
This autoimmune disorder attacks organs of the body, including the skin. If you have cutaneous lupus erythematosus, it is tempting to remain at home. Ultraviolet rays in sunlight or artificial light exacerbate butterfly rash, subacute cutaneous lupus, and possibly discoid lupus lesions in 40–70% of lupus patients.
Treatments For Lupus
Your dream team of specialists will have expertise in dermatology, rheumatology, and immunology. Because the disease can affect different organs, other specialists might assist.
The male hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), produced in the adrenal glands, may reduce the need for prescription of topical steroids like prednisone. Limit use of these prescription steroids to the minimum duration that is necessary. Many side effects tend to outweigh the benefits.
A new class of drugs, called topical immunomodulators, can treat serious skin conditions without the side effects found in corticosteroids. They prevent the skin immune system from causing various skin lesions. Another prescription drug is thalidomide. It can improve cutaneous lupus that is resistant to other treatments.
Coordinate major cosmetic procedures like Botox, laser, and medium-to-heavy chemical peels, between your dermatology and lupus specialists. They will make sure that your lupus is under control and in remission.
Patients undergoing such procedures should take a disease-modifying agent, such as an antimalarial drug, to prevent the Koebner phenomenon.  The Koebner phenomenon, first described in 1876 by Heinrich Koebner, is the appearance of new skin lesions on previously unaffected skin secondary to trauma.  A rheumatologist may prescribe synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and novel biologic therapies. 
Skin Care for Lupus Patients 
Certain events can trigger outbreaks. These include stress, sunlight, hormones, some cosmetics, and certain foods.
- Use a high-quality zinc-based sunscreen.
- Apply serums that combine Vitamin C and E.
- Use vitamin A night cream.
- Shield the sunlight with a hat, scarf, or parasol.
- Some professionals recommend gold treatment for lupus sufferers. [5,6]
- A good protective moisturizer with great ingredients like jojoba oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and honey.
- Use witch hazel-based astringent with aloe vera and an essential oil like calendula, chamomile jewelweed, or wild pansy, especially during breakouts.
- Mineral camouflage makeup like Dermablend® is great for full coverage.
Nutrition To Benefit Lupus Sufferers
Three broad lupus types are acute, subacute, and chronic.  Episodes come and go, though full remission is possible. Take a good multivitamin and mineral supplement with sufficient antioxidants. Reduce inflammation by increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, and ginger.
An alkaline diet can help reduce inflammation. Avoid foods with polyunsaturated vegetable oils (safflower, sunflower, corn, etc.), margarine, vegetable shortening, and all products made with partially hydrogenated oils. Also, minimize consumption of sugar and high-processed foods. 
Come Into The Light
If you suffer from lupus, find a dermatology therapist who understands the challenges of your skin disease. Your dermatologist will work with you during breakouts and remission periods and will help reduce the scarring and discoloration of your skin. With proper care, you can cross the threshold of your front door and function away from home with confidence.
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UPDATED: FEB 8, 2024